Whether you have been with Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning or got your start on Netflix, you have probably been wholeheartedly invested in the show for 14 seasons. You’ve been there through crazy times like the ferry crash of season three, the mass shooting in season six, the plane crash of season eight and other pivotal and dramatic episodes throughout the 14-year run. Through it all, Grey’s Anatomy has lost main cast members and rapidly replaced them with new ones, as with the departure of Eric Dane’s Mark Sloan and Chyler Leigh’s Lexie Grey, as with their replacements of the “new intern class.” The series has lost numerous main cast members and now has a main cast of 14 characters, with more than a dozen other characters recurring. The show started with nine main cast members.
What Grey’s Anatomy has done over the years is replace key characters with more irrelevant characters hoping to fill the void. This changed the cast from a reasonable number of main characters to too many to keep track of, putting many on the backburner and in wasted plot lines.
Earlier this month it was announced that Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew, who play Arizona Robbins and April Kepner respectively, will be leaving the show after season 14 due to “creative reasons.” Capshaw has been a part of the show since season five and Drew since season six.
This announcement has shocked fans, especially as Drew has done an exceptional job this season tackling a tough and newfound version of her character. Additionally, the writers made a big change for Capshaw by bringing her character’s young daughter back to Seattle after being in New York for a good chunk of time.
Capshaw and Drew’s characters have been important representatives for the LGBTQ and Christian communities respectively. Both characters have been pillars and strong icons during their tenure on the show.
Fans raised more than $1,000 shortly after the announcement was made to have a banner saying: “We [love] Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw” flown over the Grey’s Anatomy studio during the cast and crew lunch break.
Fans have gone to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their concerns and unrest regarding the decisions to release Capshaw and Drew from the show. Many have cited the “creative reasons” as a fault on the writers for bringing in so many characters and not being able to balance it all. In season 14, the writers brought in yet another intern class, leaving even less screen time for the main cast.
What the writers of the show need to realize is that bringing in too many new characters does not save the show and keep it fresh, it ruins what the fans love so much. If there are too many characters to write for, the writers should consider getting rid of the new interns who do not advance the plot and take time away from plot lines that main characters are involved in.
Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, and the writers need to reflect on the roots and values of the show, and return to them. Bringing in characters that the fans have no connection to is not a way to freshen up the series. Focusing on the characters that fans love and giving them exciting plot lines will keep fans dedicated and happy.